Rescue Cat Owners. Help!!

posted 3 years ago in Pets
Post # 2
422 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I’d say play with him as much as you can in the evening, get one of those string toys to really tire him out. Hopefully he’ll sleep through the night. Good luck!

Post # 3
1437 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

Aw, virtual high-five to you and your husband for adopting a senior cat! I volunteer for an animal rescue and I’m always so grateful for people like you…senior cats can be such sweethearts, too.

That said, there really isn’t much you can do. I would try to keep him inside for a few more nights at least, and then let him roam. I don’t think it’d be terribly detrimental to not make it to the full two-week mark. Your garden is enclosed, so that he can’t get lost, I’m assuming?

Post # 5
3828 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Thank you for adopting an older cat. They are often over looked. I adopted a stray black cat because again, black cats are the last to go. I tell her i love her every day cause she is my baby girl. 

OK offf topic with my love of my cat lol. Anyways, i would also suggest spending as much time with him as you can at night to tire him out. Honey there are going to be some sleepless nights with a new pet. You will just have to deal with it. My cat kept us up quite a bit when we first got her. She played at night and would wake us up wanting to attact our hands. She’s slowly starting to learn that night time is for sleeping so she has started to sleep with us instead. But i’ve had her for 5 months so its a slow process. Just be patient. I find pet owners get frustrated thinking their animals should just know instantly how to behave. Or they take it personally. If my dog pukes on the stairs i dont yell at him. Its not like he thought “oh, mom’s having a nice day lets go ruin it for her”.

So you’re cat is simply adjusting. He isn’t used to this new environment, doesn’t know the routine, doesnt know where he fits.  Patience and i bet he will be so much better in a week. 

Post # 6
2150 posts
Buzzing bee

skyeatnight:  I would add some cans of tuna fish to your aresenal of treats when you decide to let him out, just in case he turns into a stubborn old man and won’t come in.

When my cat was a kitten, he found this great hiding spot at the top of my linen closest. There was a hole he could go through and get up into the ceiling. He would get up there and start bellowing. I don’t know if he was lost or scared or what. But I would open a can of tuna and put it on the top shelf of the linen closet and he would always find his way to it!

Post # 7
232 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014


Way to go for adopting a senior cat! Is he neutered? Are you playing with him consistently? I have two cats and every morning, I get woken up by one or the other who is ready for mom to get up and play. It’s kind of a cross to bear. Try to tucker him out and leaves toys around for him to entertain himself throughout the night. Good luck!!

Post # 8
1 posts

skyeatnight:  My cat is a rescue cat and isn’t supposed to go outside because he has one eye. When I lived on a busy road I bought him a harness from Pets at Home and used to take him in the garden on a little lead. I’ve now moved to my parents’ house which has a big garden he can go out in and I’m going to take him out on the lead and harness a few times to get him used to it before I let him off the lead, maybe you could get something similar for your cat? It would give him some fresh air and exercise as well as helping him get used to his new environment. You can get them specifically for cats or you could maybe get away with one designed for rabbits if he’s not a large cat. Most cats don’t like them that much to start with but when they realise they get to go outside with it on they soon get used to it.

Post # 9
2196 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

OP, have you considered getting a harness? My mom’s cat goes outside on one with a leash, she loves it. My one friend’s cat is trained to wait at the door until they hook the very long leash to his collar so he can go outside and not leave the yard. And they he waits for them to take it off when he wants to come back inside- it’s adorable. I tried to get one for my cat so he could go outside but he hated it, but I think it would be worth a shot. Tie your cat to a pole so he can explore your garden without running away- although be careful, cats are masters of escape! My cat got out of his harness once, I have no idea how…

Post # 12
110 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I also take my little Loki out on a leash and harness(you wouldn’t believe the looks I get from people, sheesh). I really wouldn’t let him out on his own so soon. He may try to find his way back to his old place of residence. I would try to get him used to the harness by putting it on him for short periods of time, and offering him treats while he is in it. Loki hated his harness at first, but now he knows it’s the only way he gets to go outside. I feel bad sometimes, too, but I have had cats that were indoor/outdoor that went out one day, and never came back. I would be beyond devastated if that happened to Loki.

Post # 13
2196 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I second giving him treats and putting the harness on for short periods on time to start. Cats generally don’t like to be restrained but he will learn that if he wants to go out he will have to wear it. He should stop putting up such a fuss with some positive reinforcement.

Post # 14
5259 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013


Swizzle:  Yay for black cats! It makes me so sad to know that people actaully dont want to adopt them cause they are the colour black. I adopted 2 kittens from a rescue place one black (the female) and one black and white (the male) and I love them soo much!

skyeatnight:  I would suggest giving your cat some toys or playing with hime when you get home so hopefully he is tired by the time you go to bed. That’s what we do with our kittens. We also keep them in a seprate room at night with there litter toys and comfy bed so that we can get some sleep!

Post # 15
173 posts
Blushing bee

skyeatnight:  Harness training takes a bit. It took a few weeks with our cat who likes the harness.

I’d start by letting him sniff the harness and rub his face on it. Give him treats as he does this. Be sure to leave the harness near his food dish so he gets used to it being around.

Then, after a few days of sniffing/facerubs, try putting it on him. Use lots of praise and treats. It’s normal (reflexive) for cats to “lay down” or refuse to move with a harness on – he will get used to it. We leave our one cat in a harness most of the time and he doesn’t even notice it is on!

Once you can put the harness on him, it’s time for the leash. We only have our kitty wear the leash when he’s outdoors, which he likes. Again, stopping and “laying down” is normal and reflexive with the leash attached. He will get used to it – our cat does more of a mosey-and-sniff than a full on walk, but does like the outdoors.


Regarding his sleeping, you may want to try doing a big play session right before bed, then giving kitty a small meal to reinforce hunt-eat-sleep instincts. He will eventually get on your schedule and sleep at night. If he’s just playing, not crying, at night, you may be able to confine him to one room or section of the house with his toys and catbed. We did this for the first month our kitty came home because we already had a cat and didn’t want them fighting at night.

Finally, if he doesn’t have a companion kitty and is OK with other cats, consider getting him a friend. Especially for senior kitties, a younger cat can help keep them active and “young”. Our two run off and play together during the night and during “nap breaks” during the day.

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